The Dollar Comes Back

Good day… And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fantastico Friday, because, today, is our little Christine’s Birthday! Yeah for her! More on this in the Big Finish… But, it’s a Happy Day nonetheless for our little Christine!

OK, front and center this morning, yesterday I printed a quote from Karl Marx. This had been sent to me from a source that I didn’t feel as though I needed to research first. Unfortunately, as MANY of you let me know… The quote had some major errors in it. So… I apologize… I hope I didn’t burn any confidence in me with that error… I’ll do much more due diligence in the future!

The euro saw a huge sell off yesterday, and it wasn’t a case of “lets buy the dollar and sell the euro” it was a case of “lets sell the euro”… I think the latter is the worse… Here are the reasons I saw that caused this selling of the euro, and further down the line with the other currencies as well.

1. Soros says euro may not survive crisis without global plan…

2. There’s a potential for a ‘buy American’ rider in the stimulus package sparking debate on the impact on global trade

3. There was a rumor going around that the four largest pension funds in Netherlands saw their assets drop by euro 72 Billion due to the credit crisis, all are allegedly under funded.

4. The Risk Takers are hiding under rocks again…

This is the Obama bounce I’ve been talking about folks… Stocks may still be taking it on the chin, but the dollar part of the bounce is front and center!

How many people follow Glenn Beck? As you know, last summer, I wrote an article for his website on the dollar, and the loss of purchasing power. He had heard about me, when reading Craig Karmin’s Biography of the dollar, which has a chapter on me! Well… I believe that Glenn has taken my stuff and run with it… Last night, he did a great job of showing everyone the money supply that has gone off the charts since last September. He got the data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve, so it’s not like he made the stuff up! I love what he’s calling our money supply and debt situation… “An Inconvenient Deficit” Obviously, it’s a spin-off of Al Gore’s movie…

The deficit and money supply is really getting out of hand folks… I know, I’ll have a few readers send me notes telling me that the money supply stuff is wrong… But, I’ll stick with the data from the St. Louis Fed…

This un-dynamic duo of deficit and money supply, only has one ending folks… And it ends up in tears for the dollar…

But in the meantime, the dollar bulls have the dollar moving higher once again, with the euro trading all the way down to trade with a 1.28 handle.

Well… In the data yesterday, the Weekly Initial Jobless Claims, which were forecast to be below 500K, repeated the previous week’s high of 585K, with an increase to 588K! UGH! I’ve never figured out why these figures don’t feed into the monthly Jobs Jamboree numbers… You would think that you take the weekly figures by 4, and voila! But, that’s not how it works, boys and girls… The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) gets to put their hands in the cookie jar and act like they know what they’re doing!

In other data, New Home Sales fell 14.7% in December to 331,000. Now, that might not sound too bad on the outside…(apparently it wasn’t to the media, for they “forgot” to include this part when reporting the data yesterday) But, when you figure in the fact that the latest 15% plunge to 331K now takes New Home Sales to the lowest since the series began in 1963, breaking below the previous low of 338K in 1981. Add to that the fact that… Sales are down 75% from its peak in mid-2005. And to finish this data set off… Something that leads me to believe we have more suffering in housing to go… The month’s supply of homes reached a new record high of 12.9 months (the 20-year average is 5.7). Can you say… inventories remain too high?

And finally, durable-goods orders decreased by 2.6% in December… UGH! The economy just continues to show more rot on the vine… Even more than most economists had forecast, for sure… There was one economist that was the front runner to all this mess, forecasting it, and being cast as a doom and gloom guy. But now receiving vindication… That’s Nouriel Roubini, who’s in Davos Switzerland this week at the World Economic Forum… That’s where the great quotes from Jamie Dimon came from yesterday… Let’s see if Nouriel Roubini threw us a bone or two…

Roubini said yesterday, that “the worse lies ahead. Banks face bigger credit losses than they realize, more financial companies will require state takeovers and the world economy will keep shrinking throughout 2009, he says. The consensus is catching up with me, but it’s still behind,” Roubini said in an interview in Davos. I don’t know what some people are smoking.”

We’ll get some inkling of the depths the economy has fallen to this morning, when 4th QTR GDP prints… The forecast is for a negative -5.5% to print… And when we see the “makeup” of the growth, and see that without the Gov’t spending it would have been much worse… Somebody had better think twice about suggesting this recession will be “V” shaped…

Oh… And my friends over at Critical Factors research, (they track recessions, and confirmed my call last year at this time that we had moved into a recession) sent me a note about the Leading Indicators data that printed the other day. You may recall that I was surprised to see the Leading Indicators rise? Well, looks like there’s an explanation for that… And for that explanation I turn to my friends at Critical Factors…

“Yes, The Conference Board reported that the Leading Economic Indicators increased 0.3 percent, but note this quote from their press release: ‘The LEI rose modestly in December, mainly due to the continued and very large positive contribution from real money supply.’

Yes, there’s that “money supply” thing again!

In Germany this morning, inflation bumped higher last month to 1.1%, but still below the European Central Bank’s (ECB) ceiling target of 2%… With Oil prices being pulled up from the ashes, I’m sure the ECB ministers are watching it closely. One thing to remember when thinking of the ECB, and the euro… The ECB has a MANDATE from the Maastricht Treaty, the document that formed the European Union, to provide price stability… That means they are inflation fighters in earnest… Not just guys that decide to become one when it becomes fashionable… Read Fed Reserve…

OK… I want to go back to the Soros statement above that ripped the euro yesterday… Don’t you just love the media? They report this, when Soros probably was dissing the dollar for an hour and casually mentioned that without a global plan the euro is in trouble… Of course he could have said any currency for that matter! I think you have to take what a George Soros says with trepidation… He’s a sly fox, and only says things to move markets that he’s trading in… He’s made millions with this practice… So… For all we know, he could have been short euros, and needed the price to get lower to cover the short! Nah… He wouldn’t do something like that would he? Hmmmm… Check out 1992, and the British pound…

Hey! Jimmy Mack! When are you coming back? Did you see the move in Gold yesterday? It soared $21 on the day… And in the overnight markets it has gained another $13, to $922! I was listening to our metals traders, Jen and Kristin, the other day, and they were quoting prices for minted coins that were so far above spot, I had to stop and ask what was going on…

They proceeded to tell me in so many words, that it wasn’t any of my business and to go back to the currencies! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! No, not those two sweet ladies! They told me that the demand for coins is still at last fall’s highs, and that the dealers, and minters are charging outrageous fabrication fees… That thought was confirmed by HSBC, (Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corp), one of the biggest metals dealers in the world… A trader friend of mine there sent me this note…

“One of HSBC’s bullion customers is a large coin manufacturer – we learned today that the demand for investment coins continues at an astonishing pace – the order book for Q109 has already surpassed C2008. The main order flow is European.”

So… There you have it! Gold is hot!

I had a reader send me a note yesterday telling me to be more professional, and compared me to Jim Cramer! ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH! The horror! The humanity of it! Not Jim Cramer! The reader didn’t say how long they’ve been reading, and maybe yesterday’s rant was their first go at the Pfennig… I’ve got to hope so! I did get a little carried away yesterday, didn’t I? Well… That’s just me. I can’t sit idly by and watch this all unfolding before my eyes and not say something… Oh well… That’s the beauty of this newsletter, A Pfennig For Your Thoughts, It’s FREE! You can always just delete your subscription! But… You’ll be sorry…. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Currencies today 1/30/09 (Christine’s birthday): A$ .64, kiwi .51, C$ .8125, euro 1.2860, sterling 1.43, Swiss .8655, rand 10.14, krone 6.9280, SEK 8.2525, forint 232, zloty 3.4750, koruna 21.72, yen 89.60, sing 1.5075, HKD 7.7555, INR 48.87, China 6.8615, pesos 14.43, BRL 2.30, dollar index 85.82, Oil $41.88, Silver $12.55, and Gold… $921.85

That’s it for today… Well… My little buddy, Alex, is fine. He had a broken nose that had to be reset by a plastic surgeon. He looked pretty pitiful when I got home from work yesterday… But his mom tells me we was a real trooper through the ordeal at the hospital, where they didn’t get home until 3 in the morning… After arriving there 9 hours earlier! OK… It’s a Party Day! Our little Christine’s birthday! Christine has worked at my side for 8 years now; I’ve seen her go through a wedding, two pregnancies, training for a marathon, and all the while maintaining her upbeat, high on life, attitude… Happy Birthday Christine!

Well… This Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday… I’m not a gambler, but if I were, I would have to go with the Steelers, and that great defense. I’m not a fan of the Cardinals, as they left our town without football back in 1989. But I am a fan of Kurt Warner, so if he would happen to pull a rabbit out of his hat, and win on Sunday, I wouldn’t mind seeing him hold the Lombardi trophy again… But, my instinct tells me Pittsburgh… So… I hope you have a fun-filled Super Bowl Sunday, (remember Monday is a school day!) But before that, I hope you send Christine Happy Birthday wishes to her email, and Have a Fantastico Friday!

The Daily Reckoning